back in the saddle so to speak, and you can all look forward to some juicy updates in the future. Remember, you can
find corresponding pictures by clicking on the Photo Album button above. And remember, you can always look at our
previous ramblings by clicking on the archived Journal Entries (above) and the corresponding archived Photo Albums on
the Photo Album page.
anticipated family reunion. The entire Salley clan got together in a big house right on the beach in the Panhandle of
Florida for a week of fun. It was a wonderful time. Unfortunately, it was at this time that we all realized something
was amiss with Mom. We know now that George's sweet Mother had contracted a very rare and untreatable brain
disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). We fought very hard to save her, but sadly she passed away on
September 16, 2008. It all happened very quickly and she did not appear to suffer physically. Coleen Salley was a
great woman, a fantastic mother, a tireless educator, and a friend and inspiration to more people than we will ever
know. Coleen's physical presence may be gone from this world, but she will NEVER be forgotten!
the article below:
Krewe du Vieux, died Tuesday in Baton Rouge of complications from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. She was 79.
reporter, but she turned to English and earned a certification in secondary education. She took her first job in Stuttgart, Germany, where she
met her husband, Elmore Salley, then a young medical resident. After her husband died in an automobile accident, Mrs. Salley returned to
Baton Rouge with her three young children and earned her master's degree in library science from LSU in 1962.
She was known for her gravelly drawl, her moving storytelling, her plain and salty speaking and a zany sense of fun. Students who took
children's literature thinking it might be easy soon learned that she was a demanding teacher.
Marshall, Ashley Bryan, James Ransome, Jim LaMarche, Jerry Pinkney and Allen Say. One of her prized possessions was an autograph
book featuring drawings and inscriptions from her friends. She also promoted numerous Louisiana writers and illustrators.
teeth for them. It was like suddenly you had a new force of nature on your side. There was air and water and fire and there was Coleen -- and
she would be as constant as those on your behalf."
Book Shop, a moment she wildly enjoyed. Mrs. Salley took civic pride in that commercial. "For once," she said at the time, "New Orleans is
represented not by a streetcar or a bowl of gumbo, but reading and the education of children. I'm so tired of commercials glorifying self-
gratification. Food! Automobiles! Underpants! If you can't put it in your mouth, ride in it or put it on your butt, they don't think we're interested.
challenged younger friends to keep up with her. Her Chartres Street apartment was filled with books and mementos, and her condominium
was on the holiday French Quarter walking tour, her seven Christmas trees a must-see.
other books: "Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail," "Epossumondas Saves the Day," both published by Harcourt, and the
unpublished "Epossumondas Plays Possum," all illustrated by Janet Stevens. At long last, Mrs. Salley took her rightful place among the
children's book authors she had been such a fine ambassador for through the years. "It was a nice exclamation point on her career," Joyce
said. "For so long so much of her energy was focused on others and not herself, but she was the treasure."
"Legend of Old Befana," and appeared with a duck on her head in illustrator Janet Stevens' "To Market, To Market," by Anne Miranda.
in 1974, she reigned as queen of the Krewe of Coleen, scrunching herself into a decorated shopping cart, and accepting and dispensing
Carnival tributes from her loyal subjects -- students and friends who came in from all over the country. In 2004, she reigned as the queen of
Krewe du Vieux.
to the Coleen Salley and Bill Morris Literacy Foundation, dedicated to promoting an appreciation of books and bringing authors to local
schools. Bill Morris, her longtime friend, was the vice president for HarperCollins Children's Books, and a legendary figure in the world of
publishing. He is deceased. In addition to author appearances, the foundation financed book giveaways, because, as Mrs. Salley said,
"Nothing is more important than a book of your own."
Athens of Portland, Ore.; and seven grandchildren. Her funeral will be held Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Jude Shrine, 411 Rampart St.
our time back in the United States, including some pictures from the Jazz Funeral and Ceremony that was held to
celebrate the life of this very special woman. As always we wish you all fair winds and following seas!
|A Bittersweet Visit to The United States